When you think of Italian wine, you immediately think of some of the world’s greatest and most powerful red wines: Chianti, Barolo, Super Tuscany.

Italy has a well-deserved reputation for some of these wines, but those who only see reds and disregard a wine like Pinot Grigio are only seeing part of the picture.

What is a tasting challenge? With 34 wines from 12 countries you can improve your wine taste every week – the wine tasting challenge.

All day long Rosé ? Or just occasionally?

Originally known as Pinot Gris in France, Italians in the northernmost part of their country have made Pinot Grigio one of the most widespread white grape varieties in Italy.

While French pinot gris is known for its fleshy fruitiness (botrytis is often used to make sweet wines), Italian pinot gris is much better known as a completely dry wine, with bitter notes and high acidity.

And although it is primarily known as a white wine, the Pinot Grigio grape is actually very rosé, so it is also used as a rosé from time to time.

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While it would have been fun to find this wine, for this challenge we kept our eyes on the price and chose a bottle from the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige, which produces some of the best Pinot Grigio in the world.

2019 Castelfeder Mont Mes Pinot Grigio

Look at this: Light straw.

The smells: Lemon, peach, honeydew, almond and wet gravel.

In the palace: The light stone fruit at the beginning transitions to a rather bitter and sour citrus peel at the end of the mouth. And Flintstones!

Assorted food: A chicken with lemon and pepper and this particular pinot grigio would be fantastic. Seafood would be nice too.

What we have learned about Italian Pinot Grigio

So there’s a reason why so many Italian Pinot Grigios come from the Trentino-Alto Adige region, and it has to do with the climate.

When you arrive this far north in Italy, you are far away from the hot and stifling Mediterranean climate that most people associate with Italy. In fact, you’re officially on alpine terrain.

This cooler climate produces very acidic and mineralic grapes. In many ways, they couldn’t be smaller than the popular reds produced further south. It’s an incredible variety.

If it looks a lot like the Austrian Grüner Veltliner, it’s probably because this region is in direct competition with Austria. German is even more widely spoken in South Tyrol than Italian!

With vineyards that can reach 3,300 vines, it’s justified that their grapes are marathoners and not sprinters: slow to grow, but worth the wait.

Last Impressions

Italy is famous for its big, powerful red wines: and with good reason. Some of the best red wines in the world come from Italy. But if there’s one thing we took away from today’s challenge, it’s this: Don’t sleep on Italian white wine.

It’s a huge country. And this latitude leads to so many different climates, cultures and wine variations that if you drank a new Italian wine every week, it would take you two decades to go through them all.

Too much wine.

Which Pinot Grigio did you choose? Or should I say pinot gris? Was yours fresh and juicy, or sharp and spicy? Let us know in the comments below!

frequently asked questions

What is the best Italian Pinot Grigio?

10 Italian Pinot Grigios for La Dolce Vita | Wine Enthusiast

What is the best taste of Pinot Grigio?

The 11 best Pinot Grigios to drink in 2021 – Liquor.com

Sweet Italian Pinot Grigio ?

Is Pinot Grigio dry or sweet? It’s dry: Due to its high acidity, Pinot Grigio often has a less sweet taste than Chardonnay.

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